Monday, December 31, 2018

Rolling Stone Magazine: Songs of the Year, 1949-2018

Originally posted 4/15/2019.

Rolling Stone magazine has published numerous best-of lists (see resources at bottom of page) over the years. Those have been aggregated into a single “best of list” (see the top 100 songs here). Based on that and year-end lists, these are the best songs from each year from 1949 to 2018 according to Rolling Stone:

  • 2018: Drake “In My Feelings”
  • 2017: Harry Styles “Sign of the Times”
  • 2016: Beyoncé “Formation”
  • 2015: The Weeknd “Can’t Feel My Face
  • 2014: Mark Ronson with Bruno Mars “Uptown Funk!
  • 2013: Daft Punk with Pharrell Williams “Get Lucky
  • 2012: Alabama Shakes “Hold On”
  • 2011: Jay-Z with Kanye West “Niggas in Paris”
  • 2010: Adele “Rolling in the Deep

  • 2009: U2 “Moment of Surrender”
  • 2008: Beyoncé “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)
  • 2007: Jay-Z “Roc Boys (And the Winner Is)”
  • 2006: Gnarls Barkley “Crazy
  • 2005: Arctic Monkeys “I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor”
  • 2004: Jay-Z “99 Problems”
  • 2003: OutKast “Hey Ya!
  • 2002: Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott “Work It”
  • 2001: Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott “Get Ur Freak On”
  • 2000: Madonna “Music

  • 1999: TLC “No Scrubs”
  • 1998: Lauryn Hill “Doo Wop (That Thing)”
  • 1997: The Verve “Bittersweet Symphony”
  • 1996: Blackstreet with Dr. Dre “No Diggity”
  • 1995: Alanis Morissette “You Oughta Know”
  • 1994: Beastie Boys “Sabotage”
  • 1993: Beck “Loser”
  • 1992: Eric Clapton “Tears in Heaven”
  • 1991: R.E.M. “Losing My Religion
  • 1990: Sinéad O’Connor “Nothing Compares 2 U

  • 1989: Public Enemy “Fight the Power”
  • 1988: Tracy Chapman “Fast Car”
  • 1987: Bruce Springsteen “Tunnel of Love”
  • 1986: Prince “Kiss”
  • 1985: Artists United Against Apartheid “Sun City”
  • 1984: Tina Turner “What’s Love Got to Do with It”
  • 1983: The Police “Every Breath You Take
  • 1982: Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five “The Message
  • 1981: The Rolling Stones “Start Me Up”
  • 1980: Joy Division “Love Will Tear Us Apart

  • 1979: Fleetwood Mac “Tusk”
  • 1978: Ramones “I Wanna Be Sedated”
  • 1977: Fleetwood Mac “Go Your Own Way”
  • 1976: Sex Pistols “Anarcy in the U.K.”
  • 1975: Bruce Springsteen “Born to Run
  • 1974: Al Green “Take Me to the River”
  • 1973: Marvin Gaye “Let’s Get It On
  • 1972: Stevie Wonder “Superstition
  • 1971: John Lennon “Imagine
  • 1970: Elton John “Your Song

  • 1969: The Jackson 5 “I Want You Back”
  • 1968: Otis Redding “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay
  • 1967: Aretha Franklin “Respect
  • 1966: The Beach Boys “Good Vibrations
  • 1965: The Miracles “The Tracks of My Tears”
  • 1964: Roy Orbison “(Oh) Pretty Woman
  • 1963: The Beatles “I Want to Hold Your Hand
  • 1962: Little Eva “The Loco-Motion”
  • 1961: Ben E. King “Stand by Me
  • 1960: The Everly Brothers “Cathy’s Clown”

  • 1959: Ray Charles “What’d I Say
  • 1958: Chuck Berry “Johnny B. Goode
  • 1957: Buddy Holly & the Crickets “That’ll Be the Day
  • 1956: Elvis Presley “Heartbreak Hotel
  • 1955: Elvis Presley “Mystery Train”
  • 1954: Elvis Presley “That’s All Right, Mama”
  • 1953: Hank Williams “Your Cheatin’ Heart”
  • 1952: Lloyd Price “Lawdy Miss Clawdy”
  • 1951: Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats “Rocket 88”
  • 1950: Muddy Waters “Rollin’ Stone”

  • 1949: Hank Williams “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”

Rolling Stone Lists:

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